What's your actor type?

By Fernanda Karpienski | Last Updated: December 02, 2023
Let’s talk about your type. And no . . . I don’t mean, who you had a crush on when you were seventeen. I mean, your actor “type,”or the way others perceive you on screen. Having awareness of your type is not as easy it as seems. But when you get enough feedback and begin to understand your ‘type,’ your career will gain focus and strength. That’s because knowing yourself allows you to position correctly for the roles you submit for while saving time not submitting for roles that are completely outside of your range.
Typing is most important in commercials. In a twenty second ad, there is little time to develop trust and an even shorter time for the audience to identify with the character. Think of a doctor giving medical advice; or a financial analyst talking about planning for retirement. Or even a young student, sharing a new tech gadget. Each actor expresses a product or service both directly and indirectly, while the ‘type’ demonstrates the brand that is oftentimes inseparable from the prospective customers themselves. As an exercise, think about how your type might influence the kind of commercial work you might be cast for? Generally, the kind of commercial or the product itself might shine even more light on the kinds of roles for TV and film that might be equally appropriate for you.
Theater is the least important in terms of type. This might seem obvious, but different from the screen, which highlights the nuances of an actor’s performance, the stage requires large movements and even larger gestures. This removes the emphasis on the character’s type, putting more focus on the stage, its props, and the movement of performers and the overall story as it plays out.
In film, type is critical with the lead role. Stories circle around one protagonist. This lead character is the center of the film universe, which gets unraveled through the development of how the dueling forces of want versus need play out for 90-200 minutes. If a character is of a certain type, almost always that type will define the genre of the film. Don’t trust me? Consider any lead actor in a film. Ask yourself if the story matches the character’s essence. And if you find one, let us know! We will give you a secret prize on your website.
Don’t know your type? Study films and ask yourself what roles you can and cannot see yourself playing. Do some soul searching. Be honest with yourself as you dig deep on who you are. Ask others how they perceive you. The better you know yourself, the more cast-able you will be because you will know which roles are aligned with yourself. And . . .guess what, seasoned casting directors are experts at drawing the role and the actor together. That is their entire job. At bottom, ask yourself what is your type! And if you realize it is not what you thought, don’t fret!
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